This exhibition explores the century-long history of a 72-acre property in the Los Gatos mountains that was, at different times, a stagecoach stop, restaurant, bordello, and resort. In the 1960s, the property was renamed “Chateau Liberté”, which translates to “House of Freedom” and became a magnet for motorcycle bikers and hippies who wanted to cast aside the moral compass of suburbia in this hideaway. The exhibition lays out the arc of the property’s history from its beginnings in the mid 1850s, through the 20th century, and to its present-day status as a private residence.
The focus of the exhibition is the property’s transformation into Chateau Liberté during the era of the Summer of Love – 1965 to 1975 – where it attracted some of the biggest names in rock music with Bay Area roots including: The Doobie Brothers, The Tubes, Hot Tuna, members of the Grateful Dead and a host of other artists who played the club circuit at that time. Chateau Liberté: House of Freedom / Faces of Resistance: Through the Lens of Ilka Hartmann Historic records, photographs, ephemera and stories from the locals and legends who helped to create a perfect storm of music and mayhem are just some of the artifacts and treasures on view. Visitors will see original hand drawn promotional posters and flyers, Chateau Liberté’s original carved wooden door, photos of the property’s evolution and guests, and a short documentary with interviews from local residents who frequented the Chateau back in the day.
Chateau Liberté: House of Freedom is generously supported by Azuca, Los Gatos - the place to go for local arts and crafts and whimsical gifts.